Image Collections

THE LUNA Imaging Collections from the John Carter Brown Library include the Archive of Early American Images, the Map Collection, and the Political Cartoon Collection. These image collections assist scholars in their quest for contemporary images to illustrate their research and to facilitate the study of historical images in their own right. They are also a unique resource for picture researchers, documentary filmmakers, and others looking for material for commercial use. Many of these American images have never been reproduced before.

The Archive of Early American Images database—images of colonial North and South America from books, manuscripts, and broadsides in the library’s collection—has nearly 7,000 images and is still growing. Images in this database are accompanied by extensive bibliographical and descriptive information and are fully searchable by keyword.

The Political Cartoon Collection showcases the complete collection of 462 political cartoons held by the Library. The subject matter focuses primarily on British responses to political events in the late-eighteenth century Atlantic world.

The Map Collection is another growing database. We have transferred to this new space map records formerly in the Archive of Early American Images. We are now in the process of adding to this core material the records for all of our separately published maps.  When this is completed we will turn to maps in the Library’s atlases and books.  Currently, this growing collection numbers 1,203 items.

The John Russell Bartlett Collection includes the drawings and paintings assembled by John Carter Brown's librarian. In 1850 he was appointed United States Boundary Commissioner charged with establishing the boundary with Mexico. In 1880, Bartlett donated his Boundary Commistion papers to the JCB which contain the pencil sketches, sepia and washes, watercolors, and oils in this collection.

Please see Frequently Asked Questions about image collections, for details on searching, obtaining, using, and the content of these collections.